October 11, 2010 in Hip hop
Eminem or Marshall Mathers is one of my favorite rappers. He’s right up there with Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. and Jay Z. I’m also a fan of an old skool French rapper named MC Solaar, but I’ll stick to US rap for now. Whatever you have to say about his controversial lyrics, Eminem is one of the best-selling hip hop artists of all time, selling over 70 million albums worldwide.
I think that his clever wordplay and angsty, introverted lyrics are what drew me to his first LP. Even before the world knew him as the wise-ass Slim Shady in ‘My Name Is…” I heard a track called “If I Had…” which was as depressing as it was truthful and real. I used to constantly listen to this track when I was struggling as a cocktail waitress in NYC, wondering what I was going to do with my life, and getting rejected by every agent, casting director, and even former friends. For some reason, the lyrics of “If I Had a million dollars,” made me feel like I had something in common with this poor kid from the Detroit trailer park.
I didn’t have it as hard as Marshall Mathers. But life wasn’t ever easy because I never fit in, dealt with lots of racism, and grew up hating who I was. Singing, writing, and making fun of myself to make others laugh…those things were what got me through, I think. Just like Em, I always thought…”Well, if I make fun of myself first, than no one can ever really make fun of me.”
Isn’t that what comedy is anyway? You take what’s hard, sad, depressing, and true, and you flip it. Someone recently asked me,
“Why do you want to do comedy? It’s so hard.” So I said, “Well, its saying the truth, isn’t it? I mean, you can talk about things that are true, but just make it funny. No one can argue with the truth.”
In Philly, when people would be racist to me or my family, I used to just get sad all the time. Now, if people say racist things, I have good comebacks. Verbally, of course. And check out this 60 minutes interview with Marshall Mathers and Anderson Cooper…If you haven’t already noticed, I freaking love interviews.